HP Gen 8 Microserver for £150 after cashback - can use as a 4 bay NAS - £199.97 @ Servers Direct
225°Expired

HP Gen 8 Microserver for £150 after cashback - can use as a 4 bay NAS - £199.97 @ Servers Direct

39
Edited by:"GadgetHunter"Found 7th Nov
I bought one of these a week or so ago but at a higher price. :-(
I wanted to use it as a simple 4 bay NAS - similar to a QNAP or Synology and run Plex on it.

Cashback appears to be available till end of November:
image.ebuyer.com/cus…pdf

I thought that it would be awkward for a novice like me to set up but actually it turned out to be really easy - at least the NAS part. Havent installed Plex yet. The NAS was easy because I used unRAID which really is simple to set up but costs $59. I am still running the free 30 day trial. You need a spare USB stick with at least 1Gb.

Basic steps are as follows:
(1) Buy the HP Gen 8 Server for £166 or the Gen10 for £183
CPU speed is about the same in each machine but the newer Gen10 has 8Gb memory vs 4Gb in the Gen8. CPU is upgradeable in the Gen8 (look for a low power Socket 1155 CPU) but not the Gen10. Gen8 has ILO for remote access but that doesnt seem to be an advantage if you are just running this as a single NAS. Gen8 only has VGA output to a monitor whereas the Gen10 has Display Port as well. I probably should have got a Gen10 but the option of upgrading the CPU if I need more power for Plex swung me towards the Gen8.

(2) Put as many disks as you want into the disk holders. Western Digital Red drives seem to be the preferred option for many. 3Tb disks are £92 from Amazon. You want at least 2 disks if you want RAID replication for resilience against a disk failure.

(3) Set up the network cables. Plug a network cable into the Eth0 port. Make sure that it supports 1000Mb e.g. CAT6. By mistake I plugged in a CAT5 network cable and started up with only 100Mb which is slow. If you have a second network cable available too then plug the second cable into the iLO network port.

Note I originally had just 1 network port in the room with my PC and microserver. That network port came from the router and went into my PC. I needed to get a 1Gb switch such as the one below for £12 so that I had ports available to plug in the PC and the microserver. (You will have to do this if you buy a Synology/QNAP NAS too as they also need a spare network point.)

amazon.co.uk/gp/…c=1

(4) Connect the microserver to a monitor keyboard and mouse. (You can disconnet these later as you wont need them after set-up is complete.) Use the following simple guide to upgrade the firmware. Basically you go into Intelligent Provisionsing from bootup by pressing F9 and then go through a couple of options to upload and install the latest firmware. Once this is all done you can shut the box down by pressing the power button.

(5) Go to lime-technology.com/dow…ad/
Use the download creator to put the NAS software onto a USB stick.
Put the USB stick in the USB connector inside the microserver. (You have to take the cover off to get to it.)

(6) Turn the box on - unRAID will install itself. I didnt need to do anything. Once it is all up and running - if you have left it connected to a monitor you will see when startup is complete - connect to unRAID on the microserver using the IP address http://tower.

There are simple tutorial videos here showing how to configure it:
lime-technology.com/vid…os/

I set mine up as one parity disk and one data disk. Then I added one share call "NAS Data". As soon as I created that my PC could see the Tower box on the network and the new directory underneath it. I then mounted that disk on my PC as the Z drive. That is it I now had access to resilient storage on the microserver.

Now I need to put all my videos on the NAS and install the Plex app on the microserver as a "docker".

39 Comments

Nice, still got my N40L if it wasn't for wanting a 4k tv & xbox x then I'd bite

I have the older model microserver and they are brilliant.

The older ones allow you to add an extra HDD in the CD-ROM bay so you can get more storage.

Fantastic price. Bought mine also a couple of weeks ago from Servers Plus for around 20 quid more.

Nice explanation GadgetHunter


Other options, Nas4Free, Mediavault, Xpenology to name a few

You can run plex on freenas.

166 is ex VAT, it's 199 Inc

Original Poster

I went for uNRAID as it was the most user friendly to set up and use for a beginner such as myself.
However, if you want to avoid paying for unRAID and are familiar with Linux set ups/like to tinker then you can also consider:
(1) XPlenology - this has been created by porting Synology's own NAS software - called DSM. Many people run this successfully and it appears to a user just like owning a Synology NAS. I didn't go for this as it seems like it needs tinkering to set up and run. It doesnt seem like there are many people working on it. Upgrading to a new DSM version is dependent upon when someone can port it. Upgrading process not trivial - looks to me to be similar to reinstalling.
(2) FreeNAS - requires at least 8Gb RAM and my box only has 4Gb. (Although you can buy an extra 4Gb of RAM for the Gen8 for just £20 from Ebay) An option if you go for a Gen10 box with 8Gb or upgrade the memory.
(3) Open Media Vault - looks like a good solution. Does not look as simple and as user friendly as unRAID but the flip side of this is that you appear to have much more control over the set up and configuration - often by editing config files.

price is ex VAT, should change the title

Yeah £199.97 including VAT so not a great deal

Like others have said - £199.97 with VAT

Also cashback form states September purchases only, so probably worth confirming it's still active.

Loved my Microserver back in the day!

What's the power consumption like these days?

Original Poster

adsham22 m ago

Also cashback form states September purchases only, so probably worth …Also cashback form states September purchases only, so probably worth confirming it's still active.


Cashback appears to be available til lthe end of November.....
image.ebuyer.com/cus…pdf

I have a Gen 8, nice little server although I have upgraded it since (CPU, RAM, 6xHDD, 1xSSD and iLO Advanced).

If you don't need a small compact server, you may get better elsewhere, but this fits nicely onto a shelf.

KTF1 h, 20 m ago

I have the older model microserver and they are brilliant. The older ones …I have the older model microserver and they are brilliant. The older ones allow you to add an extra HDD in the CD-ROM bay so you can get more storage.


You can stick a 2.5" HDD in the Gen8...

It's cheaper on ServerPlus

haha .. you can also run a liitle known os called windows 7,8.10,server etc.
xpenology 5.2 is quite easy to install , its the latest 6.1.3 which is more difficult ...
this has been cheaper in the past of course approx £115 after crashBack

KTF2 h, 6 m ago

I have the older model microserver and they are brilliant. The older ones …I have the older model microserver and they are brilliant. The older ones allow you to add an extra HDD in the CD-ROM bay so you can get more storage.


So do these, although it's has to be a 2.5". I have an SSD in there running Windows 10.

GadgetHunter1 h, 54 m ago

I went for uNRAID as it was the most user friendly to set up and use for a …I went for uNRAID as it was the most user friendly to set up and use for a beginner such as myself.However, if you want to avoid paying for unRAID and are familiar with Linux set ups/like to tinker then you can also consider:(1) XPlenology - this has been created by porting Synology's own NAS software - called DSM. Many people run this successfully and it appears to a user just like owning a Synology NAS. I didn't go for this as it seems like it needs tinkering to set up and run. It doesnt seem like there are many people working on it. Upgrading to a new DSM version is dependent upon when someone can port it. Upgrading process not trivial - looks to me to be similar to reinstalling.(2) FreeNAS - requires at least 8Gb RAM and my box only has 4Gb. (Although you can buy an extra 4Gb of RAM for the Gen8 for just £20 from Ebay) An option if you go for a Gen10 box with 8Gb or upgrade the memory.(3) Open Media Vault - looks like a good solution. Does not look as simple and as user friendly as unRAID but the flip side of this is that you appear to have much more control over the set up and configuration - often by editing config files.


If you're comfy with Linux a very short path is 1) install ubuntu server and during install tick the 'fileserver' box, 2) write about 5 lines into one config file to tell samba to share a folder. RAID and whatnot gets more complex but those two steps get you basic functionality.

Personally my NAS is running ubuntu server with Ceph on top to link all the drives together in a RAID-like solution, then there's a gateway running so it can talk SMB to windows machines. Overly complex for sure but the benefit is that it's super flexible. Drive dies? It'll reach a safe state and stay there. Drives of different sizes? No problem. Add a second machine? Sure, more the merrier in this unified storage array.
Edited by: "CampGareth" 7th Nov

GadgetHunter1 h, 18 m ago

Cashback appears to be available til lthe end of …Cashback appears to be available til lthe end of November.....https://image.ebuyer.com/customer/promos/HPE-claims-Nov-17/ProLiant-MicroServer-Offer.pdf


And at the end if that it'll be available againuntil the end of December, HP have been doing this for many years with varying amounts of Cashback. This isn't a particularly good price as the cashback has often been up to £70 so might be worth waiting if you're not in a hurry.

(2) Put as many disks as you want into the disk holders. Western Digital Red drives seem to be the preferred option for many. 3Tb disks are £92 from Amazon. You want at least 2 disks if you want RAID replication for resilience against a disk failure.

That would be RAID 0 which gives you no resilience against disk failure, you would want RAID 1 or RAID 5 depending on storage needs.

Hot from me!

One of the best home servers on the market. Got it last year, upgraded CPU to E3-1220L V2, got 16GB RAM, new 4x 6GB REDs in 2x mirror, iLO Advanced and this little thing is amazing. Quiet after new BIOS update, works with PLEX, Zoneminder as home CCTV, web server and all kind of backups (TimeMachine, OwnCloud/NextCloud, iTunes Library).
As I'm a Mac user, I switched off SMB for better LAN performance - now ~115MB/s, before ~84MB/s32387406-V5xoR.jpg
Temps afert 17 days uptime.

BTW
Zoneminder works with cheap Xiaomi xiaofang Smart 1080P WiFi IP Camera as a CCTV camera (only with Fang Hack)
Edited by: "KOLIBERk" 7th Nov

Surprised they are still selling the same spec that they have had for years (for more money). I guess the exchange rate has hit us quite a bit. Still a great option if you want something small. As a note, you can add an 8GB DIMM alongside the existing 4GB DIMM if you don't want to have to rip out the existing DIMM.
KOLIBERk54 m ago

BTW Zoneminder works with cheap Xiaomi xiaofang Smart 1080P WiFi IP Camera …BTW Zoneminder works with cheap Xiaomi xiaofang Smart 1080P WiFi IP Camera as a CCTV camera (only with Fang Hack)


I've been reading about Zoneminder and am looking to try it out, what external cameras are you using?

KOLIBERk1 h, 23 m ago

Hot from me!One of the best home servers on the market. Got it last year, …Hot from me!One of the best home servers on the market. Got it last year, upgraded CPU to E3-1220L V2, got 16GB RAM, new 4x 6GB REDs in 2x mirror, iLO Advanced and this little thing is amazing. Quiet after new BIOS update, works with PLEX, Zoneminder as home CCTV, web server and all kind of backups (TimeMachine, OwnCloud/NextCloud, iTunes Library).As I'm a Mac user, I switched off SMB for better LAN performance - now ~115MB/s, before ~84MB/s[Image] Temps afert 17 days uptime.BTWZoneminder works with cheap Xiaomi xiaofang Smart 1080P WiFi IP Camera as a CCTV camera (only with Fang Hack)


I grabbed one of these recently but haven’t gotten around to setting it up yet...The specs say it can only handle 16TB total but you’ve got 24TB in there by the sounds of it? Can you confirm? If you can fit 24TB I’d prefer to start off with the max!

ive been using unraid great (but not free) software
Edited by: "cigbunt" 7th Nov

been using xpenology on a couple of these , been running solidly for 2 years now, amazing machines..........

zandermichaeljason43 m ago

I grabbed one of these recently but haven’t gotten around to setting it up …I grabbed one of these recently but haven’t gotten around to setting it up yet...The specs say it can only handle 16TB total but you’ve got 24TB in there by the sounds of it? Can you confirm? If you can fit 24TB I’d prefer to start off with the max!


32 if you used 8tb drives, then whatever you can shove in with the 2.5" form factor, on top of that you can buy 3rd party mounts to cram more drives in if you use a raid card in addition to the onboard. homeservershow.com/for…ks/

GetSchwifty4 h, 56 m ago

Yeah £199.97 including VAT so not a great deal




Fly it to the IoM and claim the VAT back

Gah, just read through the whole thread before I realised it's £150 after cashback, and not £150 cashback, lol.

What would consume more power, this or a 2/4 bay NAS? I’d only use it for video streaming so might be a bit overkill

Some great advice in this post. One comment I would make is that you shouldn't need cat6 for 1gbps. Cat5e should be fine, strange that you had issues.

VengeceVapourX14 h, 8 m ago

(2) Put as many disks as you want into the disk holders. Western Digital …(2) Put as many disks as you want into the disk holders. Western Digital Red drives seem to be the preferred option for many. 3Tb disks are £92 from Amazon. You want at least 2 disks if you want RAID replication for resilience against a disk failure. That would be RAID 0 which gives you no resilience against disk failure, you would want RAID 1 or RAID 5 depending on storage needs.



Or you could do what I do and use the file server as a backup of the main file library.

Original Poster

SharpxD12 h, 9 m ago

Whats better this or the Synology deal …Whats better this or the Synology deal ?https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/synology-ds415play-4-bay-desktop-nas-enclosure-26898-amazon-2823497#comments


Depends upon what you want. For purely as a simple NAS for reliable shared storage the Synology will be simpler to set up and run than the HP.

However, it has a very weak CPU (Intel Atom CE5335) and only 1Gb RAM - limiting its use for other things. For example, I dont know what it would be like for things like Plex streaming of videos. (Reports here of it struggling forum.synology.com/enu…556 to do any transcoding at all - although you only need to do transcoding if your receiver/client cannot play the file format.)

The HP has a much more powerful CPU (intel celeron g1610t) and 4Gb RAM. I upgraded with another 4gb for £20 although it doesnt appear that I actually needed it. You can also upgrade the CPU if you want to.

If you go for unRAID then it was easy to set up for me - but still more to do than the plug and play of the Synology.

If you want to be a bit more adventurous you can go for ne of the other free NAS solutions - FreeNAS, nas4free, xplenology, OpenMediaVault, etc or install a full operating system such as Linux or Windows Server (expensive license) or Windows Home/Pro (cheaper license).

Original Poster

VengeceVapourX17 h, 37 m ago

(2) Put as many disks as you want into the disk holders. Western Digital …(2) Put as many disks as you want into the disk holders. Western Digital Red drives seem to be the preferred option for many. 3Tb disks are £92 from Amazon. You want at least 2 disks if you want RAID replication for resilience against a disk failure. That would be RAID 0 which gives you no resilience against disk failure, you would want RAID 1 or RAID 5 depending on storage needs.


Don't worry - I do understand all the RAID options (0,1, 10, 5, 6, synology's SHR, etc.) pretty well. :-)

With unRAID it uses one or more parity disks for resilience. I currently have one 4Tb parity disk and one 4Tb data disk. I didn't want to get 3x4tb disks initially, as this is my first NAS and I wanted to see how much use I would actually make of it. If I do make a lot of use of it then I will start adding extra data disks.

The downside of the parity approach is that real time calculation of the parity means that data transfer rates fall from about 112Mb sec (I assume that this is limited by the 1 Gbit network) to about 40 Mb sec if transferring more than 1 or 2 Gb.

unRAID allows you to use a caching disk to resolve this issue. I have already installed a 512Gb disk in the top slot on the microserver but I will only enable this once I have copied over the bulk of the data to unRAID. (As I understand it once I enable the cache disk the most data that I can write in a day to unRAID will be the size of the caching disk - as by default it only flushes once per day at 3:40am. I assume that I can change this to flush more regularly but I cannot see that I will be writing more than 512Gb per day once the NAS is fully up and running with all my data on it.)

OOS

zandermichaeljason7th Nov

I grabbed one of these recently but haven’t gotten around to setting it up …I grabbed one of these recently but haven’t gotten around to setting it up yet...The specs say it can only handle 16TB total but you’ve got 24TB in there by the sounds of it? Can you confirm? If you can fit 24TB I’d prefer to start off with the max!


It's working fine, but I have 4x 6TB REDs in two mirrors, so its two 5.9TB volumes.

KOLIBERk18 h, 26 m ago

It's working fine, but I have 4x 6TB REDs in two mirrors, so its two 5.9TB …It's working fine, but I have 4x 6TB REDs in two mirrors, so its two 5.9TB volumes.

Cheers for the response - Took a look around on the web and it looks like 16TB (4*4TB) was the biggest at the time of manufacturing so that's all they can officially say

GadgetHunter8th Nov

Don't worry - I do understand all the RAID options (0,1, 10, 5, 6, …Don't worry - I do understand all the RAID options (0,1, 10, 5, 6, synology's SHR, etc.) pretty well. :-)With unRAID it uses one or more parity disks for resilience. I currently have one 4Tb parity disk and one 4Tb data disk. I didn't want to get 3x4tb disks initially, as this is my first NAS and I wanted to see how much use I would actually make of it. If I do make a lot of use of it then I will start adding extra data disks. The downside of the parity approach is that real time calculation of the parity means that data transfer rates fall from about 112Mb sec (I assume that this is limited by the 1 Gbit network) to about 40 Mb sec if transferring more than 1 or 2 Gb.unRAID allows you to use a caching disk to resolve this issue. I have already installed a 512Gb disk in the top slot on the microserver but I will only enable this once I have copied over the bulk of the data to unRAID. (As I understand it once I enable the cache disk the most data that I can write in a day to unRAID will be the size of the caching disk - as by default it only flushes once per day at 3:40am. I assume that I can change this to flush more regularly but I cannot see that I will be writing more than 512Gb per day once the NAS is fully up and running with all my data on it.)


Ive never heard of unRAID before until now, it does sound like an interesting route in terms of setting up your RAID.

Do keep me posted with your build, would be interesting to know how it plans out!

At the moment i have a N54L with a P410 using X4 500GB disks in RAID5 & a 120GB SSD boot disk.

I used to use it with xpenology and streamed movies around the house but after focusing more on my day job and dealing with servers i got Windows Server 2008 R2 Std on it and currently setting to run it as a data/Plex server.
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text